The Edo State Government has called on residents to double their efforts toward the prevention of a possible outbreak of the Lassa fever disease in the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. David Osifo, who made the call while addressing journalists in Benin City, capital of the state, noted that experts from the ministry had identified some suspected cases of the disease in endemic areas.
Osifo listed the affected local government areas as including Esan North-East, Esan Central and Etsako East.
He, however, did not specify the number of cases recorded.
The commissioner expressed displeasure that some residents were slowing down on preventive measures against the epidemic.
Osifo stated, “Medical experts with the health ministry have identified the resurgence of the disease with records of new cases in endemic areas such as Esan North-East, Esan Central, Etsako East and other areas. It is important for residents in the state to continue to take steps to prevent the disease.”
“People should protect their foodstuff and water from rats, through storage in well-covered containers. Avoid bush burning that can drive rats into people’s homes from the surrounding bush. The environment and homes where people live should be clean always.
He further urged the citizens to make use of dedicated mobile phone numbers, 08033380188; 08023345987 and 08084096723, to report suspected cases.
The commissioner also stressed the need to maintain a good personal hygiene, through the regular washing of the hands and avoiding contact with infected persons.
He stated, “Any person with fever should go to the hospital promptly. Eliminate rats from your homes and communities.
“Cook your food thoroughly. Residents should avoid eating raw food that are not properly stored in covered containers. If possible, people should suspend the drinking of garri.”